The Friendly Skies

Asian lanterns get greener

Many an Asian celebration would not be complete without sky lanterns (or “Khoom Fay,” used in Chinese New Year festivities). These traditional, beautiful lanterns are released into the sky in hopes of good luck for the celebrants, but they’ve come under increasing fire in the past several years for posing a threat to wildlife and farm animals when they descend back to earth. Enter Sky Orbs, a new, eco-friendly alternative that’s 100% biodegradable.

Rather than connecting the lantern’s fuel cell to its bamboo base with wire, which can harm animals and also takes months to break down, Sky Orbs use a fireproof wool for that purpose, making them the first fully biodegradable option on the market, according to their UK-based maker. Sky Orbs also use non-drip fuel cells made of wax recycled from candles discarded at Buddhist temples. Finally, as an alternative to the tradition of writing messages on Sky Lanterns — which runs the risk of puncturing them — Sky Orbs are available in multiple shapes with a variety of preprinted phrases for weddings, birthdays and other special events. Pricing begins at GBP 1.49 per lantern; custom designs are also available.

Sky Orbs are available for delivery to the UK, Europe, the US and Canada. The company is also looking for agents to manage exclusive territories. Party-supply retailers and event planners around the globe: this one’s for you!